Ja Morant, the talented point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, will be sitting out at least the next two games following an Instagram Live video that has prompted an investigation by the NBA. In the video, which was taken in the early hours of Saturday morning at a nightclub, Morant appeared to be holding a gun in his left hand while rapping along to the music. The Grizzlies have since announced that Morant “will be away from the team for at least the next two games,” including their upcoming games against the LA Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ja Morant Faces Suspension for Showing Gun in Video, Expected to Miss Next Two Games
The NBA is investigating the incident, and league spokesperson Mike Bass has confirmed that the league is aware of the social media post and is looking into it. Meanwhile, Morant has taken responsibility for his actions and has issued an apology. In a statement, he expressed regret for his behavior and apologized to his family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis, and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting them down. He also announced that he would be taking time away from the game to seek help and work on better ways of dealing with stress and improving his overall well-being.
The incident has also drawn attention to two other incidents involving Morant this summer that resulted in police reports but no arrests. In the first incident, Morant was involved in a confrontation with a mall security guard in a parking lot. In the second incident, which was detailed in a Washington Post story published last Wednesday, a 17-year-old boy alleged that Morant emerged from his house with a gun in his waistband and his hand on the weapon after a fight during a pickup basketball game in Morant’s backyard. Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, has stated that “any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated,” including an NBA investigation last month that found no evidence.
Nike, who has a signature shoe line with Morant, has also released a statement in support of the player. The company expressed appreciation for Morant’s accountability and his decision to seek help, stating that they support his prioritization of his well-being. The incident has raised questions about the responsibility of professional athletes and their behavior outside of the game. The NBA has strict rules about player conduct, and incidents like this can have serious consequences for both the player and the team. It remains to be seen what the outcome of the investigation will be and how it will impact Morant’s future with the Grizzlies.
In the meantime, the team will have to make do without their star point guard for at least the next two games, and Morant will have to focus on getting the help he needs to move forward. It’s a reminder that even the most talented athletes are human and can struggle with the pressures and stresses of their profession, and that seeking help is an important step towards healing and growth.
The NBA launched an investigation following a postgame altercation between Ja Morant’s acquaintances and the Indiana Pacers’ travelling party in January. The incident occurred by the Indiana team bus in the loading area of FedExForum, and the Pacers organization alleged that a red laser was pointed at their members from a sports utility vehicle in which Morant was a passenger. The NBA conducted interviews with eyewitnesses and reviewed video surveillance to investigate the allegations. The details of the investigation were first reported by The Athletic.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said that while a postgame altercation arose that was confrontational, no evidence was found to corroborate that any individual had threatened others with a weapon following the investigation into the incident between Ja Morant’s acquaintances and the Indiana Pacers’ travelling party in January. The league office banned certain individuals involved in the altercation and a related matter during the game from attending games in the arena. The ban may be extended if additional information becomes available.
Meanwhile, Davonte Pack, one of Morant’s longtime friends, was banned from the arena after stepping onto the court during a verbal altercation with Pacers players in the third quarter of the game. Pack was seated courtside next to Morant’s father, Tee, and was escorted out of the seating area by arena security.
In addition to the investigation and bans, the Grizzlies received more unfortunate news on Saturday. Starting forward Brandon Clarke will miss the rest of the year after tearing his Achilles in Friday’s loss. The team will also be without Dillon Brooks, who received his 16th technical foul of the season in the same game and is suspended for Sunday’s game against the LA Clippers. These absences will pose a challenge for the Grizzlies as they try to make a push for the playoffs.